Welsh members of the House of Lords have been making the case for Wales and the UK’s interests in the Brexit Bill debate. Lord Peter Hain (Labour) was joined by Lord Dafydd Wigley (Plaid Cymru) who made the case for membership of the European Single Market, a lifeline of the Welsh manufacturing economy and the White Paper published by the Welsh Labour and Liberal Democrat Government and the Official Plaid Cymru Opposition.
Speaking during the debate, Lord Wigley said:
Wales needs full and unfettered access to the Single Market. That’s the basis of the excellent white paper produced by Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Government, with Liberal Democrat support.
From a Welsh perspective, two thirds of our manufacturing exports go to EU countries. Companies such as Ford, Airbus, Siemens and Toyota could be hard hit by tariff barriers. Two hundred American and 50 Japanese companies are located in Wales to sell to EU markets. That strategic element of industrial policy in Wales will be undermined by a hard Brexit.
Our agricultural sector faces similar challenges. Over 90% of beef and sheep meat exports go to EU markets. Any tariff barriers would be a kiss of death to rural Wales.